Murder forensics under control


TASMANIA’S forensic scientists say they are coping with the workload created by last month’s double murder in Ravenswood, despite examining the scene of another alleged murder just a week earlier.

Forensic Science Service Tasmania director Laszlo Szabo said the New Town laboratories did not have a large backlog of cases before the murder investigation began.

Angela Maree Hallam, 31, and Joshua Eric Newman, 21, were brutally stabbed to death at Ms Hallam’s unit in Pioneer Parade, Ravenswood, on August 15.

Six days earlier, Rocherlea woman Jessica Ann Kupsch, 29, was allegedly bashed to death in a hotel room at Penny Royal Hotel in Launceston.

Her partner, 34-year-old former Rocherlea man Mathew Patrick Tunks, has been charged with her murder.

For the Ravenswood murder alone, scientists from FSST have spent more than 10 days examining crime scenes and collected about 1000 forensic exhibits.

Mr Szabo said scientists were working through the items.

“We have enough staff to cope with incoming forensic casework, and we provide staff as needed to attend major crime scenes as and when they arise,” he said.

“Busy times are balanced with periods when there are not many scenes that require our attendance.”

Mr Szabo said scientists prioritise the testing of certain pieces of evidence if told to by police.

“We prioritise DNA testing as needed, and can always bring urgent testing to the front of the queue, and if necessary work overtime to get DNA results out within 48 hours for particularly urgent investigations,” he said.

Detectives investigating the double murder hope to see the results of the forensic analysis from next week.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.